Carrie Kirksey (gray sweatshirt, front left) and Raquel Edwards (far right) had fun learning some new dance moves while listening to local band JFA during OPEN’s annual fundraiser at Sequim’s Layton Hill Horse Camp. The two traveled from Snohomish to support the event after Kirksey adopted her horse Missy from OPEN. Thanks to generous donations OPEN reached its goal of raising enough money to fill its barn with another year’s worth of hay. (Karen Griffiths/For Peninsula Daily News)

Carrie Kirksey (gray sweatshirt, front left) and Raquel Edwards (far right) had fun learning some new dance moves while listening to local band JFA during OPEN’s annual fundraiser at Sequim’s Layton Hill Horse Camp. The two traveled from Snohomish to support the event after Kirksey adopted her horse Missy from OPEN. Thanks to generous donations OPEN reached its goal of raising enough money to fill its barn with another year’s worth of hay. (Karen Griffiths/For Peninsula Daily News)

HORSEPLAY: OPEN fundraiser helps feed needy horses during winter

“IT’S SUCH A wonderful feeling knowing we have a year’s worth of hay stacked in our barn,” exclaimed OPEN co-founder Valerie Jackson. “And this is the second year in a row we’ve been financially able to have it delivered and stacked for us.”

She said, for years they did the physically taxing work themselves of following tractors into freshly hayed fields with their own trucks and trailers to get the cheapest possible prices of hay. They’d drive through the fields picking up bales of hay, stacking their trailers full. Then they’d have to drive home, unload the hay and restack it where it’s stored, which is now, thankfully, in OPEN’s barn.

A portion of the hay is set aside to help horse owners get through a temporary financial crisis, be it through an accident, loss of job or health crisis.

“Last winter we were able to help a few people keep feeding their horses through a rough patch,” said Valerie. “We’d always rather help a horse stay in a good home, rather than rehome it, and it’s been really nice to be able to do that.”

I’ve mentioned before Lacey’s allergic reaction to bug bites. OPEN’s Diane Royall gave me a wonderful tip how to lessen the biting bugs in Lacey’s paddock by raking dirt, gravel or both over the spots where Lacey has peed, as well as areas I’ve removed manure from. This greatly reduces the amount of pesky biting midges, along with sprinkling the areas with diatomaceous earth.

Years ago I learned how to greatly reduce flying pests in the feed areas by making paddocks mud-free year-round through the use of road underlayment topped by 4-inches of 5/8-inch gravel. Find out how through Clallam Conservation District’s website, https://clallamcd.org/.

Find out more about OPEN and ways to donate at olypenequinenet.org.

Heads up

As summer is a popular time for equines, mules and donkeys to travel on and off the peninsula, I thought it prudent to alert owners this month the following transmittable infectious diseases were reported: a case of Strangles in Pierce County, Equine Influenza in Spokane and Equine infectious anemia in Cariboo, BC were reported. For more information go to Outbreaks at Equine Disease Communication Center (equine diseasecc.org)

On Sept. 9-10 Freedom Farm, 493 Spring Farm Road in Agnew is offering a bodywork clinic for your horse called Winning Your Horse’s Heart with Erin Sauer, LAMP. Learn basic massage skills to help your horse reduce tension and improve your relationship. For more information Contact Sylvie Reid at slaverniaz@gmail.com or text 907-342-5744.

________

Karen Griffiths’ column, Peninsula Horseplay, appears the second and fourth Saturday of each month.

If you have a horse event, clinic or seminar you would like listed, please email Griffiths at kbg@olympus.net at least two weeks in advance. You can also call her at 360-460-6299.

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